'X Factor' U.K. Ratings Drop Further as BBC Dance Show Widens Lead

Simon Cowell X Factor Headshot - H 2014
AP Images

Simon Cowell X Factor Headshot - H 2014

'Downton Abbey' stays nearly unchanged from the previous week with an overnight audience of 7.8 million

BBC ballroom dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing continued growing its Sunday overnight ratings over the previous week, while the U.K. version of Simon Cowell's X Factor on ITV again drew a smaller audience.

Strictly was up 430,000 viewers compared to last Sunday, with an average audience of 9.54 million, ratings consultancy Attentional said. That was the biggest U.K. audience of the night. X Factor? dropped 690,000 viewers from the previous Sunday, which had been down from the week before, and was also down from last year's equivalent episode. The show had an average audience of 7.88 million, further widening the ratings lead of Strictly.

Read more 'Downton Abbey' Draws Lowest U.K. Season Premiere Ratings Since 2010

Two Sundays ago, X Factor had beaten the BBC dancing competition in the ratings for the first time this season by reaching 8.8 million viewers, compared with 8.5 million. The ratings win for the music competition's first live results show of the season was helped by performances from Pharrell Williams and Taylor Swift.

Also on Sunday, ITV's Downton Abbey, from NBCUniversal-owned Carnival Films, attracted an average audience of 7.83 million, according to Attentional, down minimally from the previous Sunday.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai